Finding your way into the Monte Carlo Steak House can be tricky since there is no obvious entrance. The place started out as a package liquor store with a drive-through window and a small bar in the back. The liquor store is still thriving, but the canopy is all that remains of the drive-up liquor window. There are two unmarked doors on the side of the beige building—the southernmost door will get you the entrance of the bar and steakhouse.
During chicken- and steak-grilling season, cold salads can be hot stuff, particularly potato salad. If you're at all like me, you judge potato salad against your own beloved mother's recipe. For many of us, mom's is the only version of potato salad we enjoy. My mom's name was Mary Magdalene, and here's her version of America's favorite summer starch. Use red “new” potatoes since they absorb flavor and retain texture better than Russet. After cooking, dress the potatoes with olive oil, cider vinegar and salt and pepper while they're still warm, and chill (the salad, that is). Be sure not to put the mayonnaise or eggs in until the mixture is cool. Mom used sweet Spanish red onions but you could use Vidalia or scallions. A pinch of sugar is optional, depending on the acidity of the vinegar. The most important points are not to use cheap mayonnaise and to always be very careful serving salads with mayonnaise dressings when you are outdoors. Place the salad bowl in a basin of ice to keep it safe in the heat.
Whether you’re more familiar with the French Riviera or the French Quarter, there are plenty of places in Albuquerque to get a taste of authentic French cuisine. Read Hosho McCreesh’s review of Le Quiche Parisienne in this issue, and check out these other restaurants in the city that will cater to your wanderlust and make you feel, if only for the evening, that you’re dining in the City of Lights. Bon appetit, mes amis.